North Carolina Tar Heels NFL Draft Recap


May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Eric Ebron (North Carolina) stands with former running back Barry Sanders and commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number ten overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels had five former players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, including first round pick Eric Ebron. Five selections ties last year’s total and beats 2012’s amount by three players. UNC also had at least two undrafted free agent signings with more expected to come in the next couple days.

To start off the Tar Heel selections in the NFL Draft, Eric Ebron was selected 10th overall by the Detroit Lions. Ebron will join up with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to reek havoc on defenses in the NFC North next season.

Next to be selected from the Tar Heel ranks was Kareem Martin with the 20th pick in round three by the Arizona Cardinals. The 6’6″ defensive end will be playing next season with fellow Tar Heel product Johnathon Cooper, the Cardinals first round pick of last year’s draft.

Day three saw three former Tar Heels get drafted, starting with center Russell Bodine. Bodine will be blocking for Giovanni Bernard up in Cincinnati and is a great fit for the Bengal’s offense. Russell was selected with the 111th pick in the draft.

Safety Tre Boston was drafted to the homestate Carolina Panthers, and should compete for a starting job in the secondary. Boston was selected with the 28th pick in round four.

The final selection was cornerback Jabari Price, who went to the Vikings in round seven. He was the 225th pick overall in this year’s draft.

Two surprising omissions from the ranks of the Tar Heels that were drafted are James Hurst and Bryn Renner. These two seniors gave their all to the program over the course of four years in Chapel Hill. Despite the fact that neither one was drafted, each signed a deal as an UDFA and will go to training camp with a good shot at making a roster.

As you can see with these tweets from Johnathon Jones, both players have found homes in the NFL. Tim Jackson and A.J. Blue are also both potentially candidates for an UDFA contract in the next couple days.

I like the fit for Renner in Denver and Hurst in Baltimore. One advantage of not being drafted is that you get to select the team that you will play for. In Renner’s case, he gets to go to Denver and try to glean as much information as he can from future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and try to make the roster as the third QB.

For Hurst, he can compete for a backup job on the Raven’s offensive line. The Ravens only drafted one offensive lineman, so Hurst has good odds of earning a roster spot if he performs well throughout the summer.

Best of luck to all these former Tar Heels in the NFL!

(Editor’s note: A earlier version of this article incorrectly said the Cincinnati Bengals are in Cleveland.)